Honor's Splendour, by Julie Garwood

>> Monday, September 02, 2002

Since I had such a great time with SEP, an author I hadn't really liked in the past, I've started one of Julie Garwood's. I hated the 3 other Garwoods I've tried, but 2 of them, the For the Roses trilogy and The Clayborn Brides are not supposed to be her best, so I'll see if I've changed my mind.

Plot summary:

"In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton -the Wolf- unleashed his warriors against Louddon's main. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he catured...but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his life. In his rough-hewn castle, Duncan proved true to his honor. But when at last their noble passion conquered them both, she surrendered with all her soul. Now, for love, Madelyne would stand fast...as bravely as her Lord, the powerful Wolf who fought for...Honor's Splendour. "
Posted later...

This was a difficult book to grade. I enjoyed it at times, but there were plenty of things that bothered me.

First of all, I'm not fond of the type of relationship were the hero constantly patronizes the heroine, and I felt that very often Duncan treated Madelyne like a child. There were many instances where he thought, "ok, I'll lay down the law here". I also dislike books where court intrigue is given an important role, and this happened during the ending (also about the ending, that final confrontation was terribly superfluous and out of place). Finally, I had some trouble with the writing style. I'm not a fan of purple, overblown prose, but Garwood's style felt too simplistic. I guess some people would consider it sparce and elegant, but for me it felt a little childlike.

But there were a couple of things I liked. Duncan was very quick to admit his love for Madelyne and to accept that she was right in many of the things she defied him about. The character of Madelyne was problematic for me: she was definitely not TSTL, but she was too much of an innocent for me to completely like. However, I appreciated that she showed great courage throughout the whole book, never engaging in stupid, pointless defiance and some of her excentricities were endearing.

I'll give this book a grade of B. I don't regret reading it, but I think I can safely conclude that Garwood is not the author for me.

...and posted later still:

Just thought of another strike against it: I notice it took me ages to read. I started it on Monday and could only finish it on Wednesday evening. Definitely NOT a page-turner.

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